Category Archives: Japanese Cinema

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)

Godzilla vs. Megaguiras Japanese PosterGodzilla‘s appearance in his twenty-fourth movie is distinguished chiefly by him pretty much standing around biting a big dragonfly.

Toho, having been at this for something like forty years, knows just how to stretch such an obviously lackluster premise into a movie that is well in excess of an hour and forty minutes. How do they do it? With the liberal use of what I call “Godzilla Helper.” Continue reading

Cyborg 009: Legend of the Super Galaxy (1980)

Cyborg 009 PosterFrom the four corners of the world, eight cyborgs leave their current civilian lives, putting their dreams of being a race car driver, ballerina, and bull fighter on hold so that they might help one of their own and also to save Earth!

Once they join forces, the greatest super team of all team is back in action! Yes true believer, your suspicions are well-founded! The dream is alive and well! Finally after twenty-five years, the Galaxy Legion has reunited to combat evil, to cast light upon the dark, and to find out how 006’s career as a matador is working out! Continue reading

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II Japanese PosterThis is actually the third movie that features Godzilla‘s chrome Doppelganger, though it is the first time humans and not aliens have piloted it. They don’t have any better results than when the aliens were in the cockpit, but they do manage to send Godzilla back to the ocean and award him custody of a cutesy baby Godzilla, so we can pretty much call Godzilla the loser in this one. Continue reading

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)

Female Prisoner Scorpion PosterIt always seems like just when you’re about to get a commendation for running the toughest women’s prison in Japan, some crazy con decides to go over the wall and leave you looking like an overrated chump.

Of course, that wouldn’t be the worst day on the job for you. That would be that time when you got embroiled in a dust up between this same crazy con and some pig who was looking to put her in her place, but only managed to put a shard of glass in your eye. Clearly, running the toughest women’s prison in Japan isn’t the sweet gig it used to be. Continue reading

Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994)

Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla Japanese PosterThis is another in the new series of Godzilla movies that Toho began making in the 1990s. These were supposed to be bigger and better, with cutting edge special effects, souped up monsters, and exciting plots. These flicks were supposed to tear a Godzilla-sized hole in your butt and in its own way, Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla did just that! Continue reading

Shinjuku Triad Society (1995)

ShinjukuTriadSocietyCoverTakeshi Miike’s Shinjuku Triad Society has a Chinese triad and the Yakuza mix it up over some illegal organ trafficking business resulting in lots of guys getting beaten, shot, stabbed, eye gouged, and drugged. Not satisfied though with merely depicting a typical gang war punctuated with extreme eruptions of brutal violence, Miike solidifies this as required viewing for all real fans of crime films by throwing in the cop who plays by his own rules! Continue reading

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

GodzillaVsMegalonPosterSo many times the bean counters in the film business get criticized for inhibiting great art. Such and such movie could’ve been so much better if we had the money to hire this guy or the time to shot this complicated scene. The special effects would have been so much more special if we just were given an extra $40 million. Godzilla vs. Megalon then is a breath of fresh air where budgetary constraints acted to give us the greatest of all early 1970s Godzilla movies featuring Gigan! Continue reading

Battlefield Baseball (2003)

Battlefield Baseball PosterEasily much better than the previous “greatest movie about baseball in Japan,” 1992’s Mr. Baseball starring Tom Selleck, Battlefield Baseball succeeds because of the relative dearth of baseball-related antics (as well as the dearth of Tom Selleck) and instead uses the trappings of baseball merely as a way to get across its message that everyone wants to feel loved – even a high school baseball team of homicidal mutants. Continue reading

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 1974 Japanese PosterBack in the 1970s, the local theater where I lived used to run these special summer matinée series where you got into some older, kid-oriented movie for about a buck. Some weeks, I’d scan the newspaper and be disappointed that it was wussy garbage like Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion or Zebra in the Kitchen (though I do kind of wonder what that zebra was doing in that kitchen). Other weeks were marked by the arrival of films that promised to be well worth an eight year old’s dollar. Obviously, I’m referring to movies like Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Continue reading